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Reporting and detecting rape offences

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detecting rapeDYFED POWYS POLICE has welcomed the report from the HMIC on the numbers of reported and detected rape offences in the force area for the year up until March 2013.

The police say they encourage people to be confident to come forward and report rape to them, and they have robust processes in place to record, investigate and do their best to detect the crimes and bring offenders to justice.

It is pleasing to see that the statistics for the Force show that the number of reported rapes of adults fell in the last year from 63 to 53 offences. To ensure they put the victim first, they record each crime that is reported to them within 24 hours, whereas the national standard of recording the crime is within 72 hours. Out of those, 21% were detected, which is above the national average.

In relation to the statistics for the rape of children the number of offences recorded by the force equated with the national average. Out of those, 26% were detected, again in line with the national average.

Detective Superintendent Shane Williams said, “We know that we have low numbers of rapes of both adults and children in Dyfed Powys, but it is important to remember that each of those numbers represents a victim. This crime is unacceptable and we are fully committed to doing everything possible to detect each and every crime and bring offenders to justice.

“To ensure the highest standards of investigation, each allegation of rape reported is led by a Detective Inspector, supported by officers who are trained in sexual offences, and every line of enquiry is followed through to ensure that we have the very best evidence on which to base a prosecution.

“We know that most of the offences that take place in Dyfed Powys, the victim knows the offender; we have very few stranger rape offences. For those crimes that have not been detected it is important to recognise that in the vast majority of these cases an offender was identified, arrested and interviewed. Despite our best efforts there are times when the evidence does not meet the threshold for prosecution. This means that although an offender has been identified the crime will remain undetected.

“As well as fully investigating offences of rape, we also recognise the importance of raising awareness of what constitutes rape and sexual assault, how to report it and the support available. An example of this is our work with colleges and universities during fresher weeks.

“As part of our robust investigation process we investigate all offences, and we do not release offenders on bail without consulting with a senior investigating officer, who will undertake a thorough assessment of the case.

“We work closely with partner agencies, including the Sexual Advice Referral Centre (SARC) to ensure the very best support to our victims of rape, and we are currently working with experts from Barnardos to further develop and enhance our knowledge of the sexual exploitation of children.”

Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon said: “I welcome this report produced by HMIC on behalf of the Rape Monitoring Group. It’s important that such scrutiny is applied to data related to rape.

“In Dyfed-Powys I’m eager that we have a true picture of crime and that it’s not hidden so I encourage victims to report rapes. Actions can then be taken by agencies including the police to help them and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“To help in that process, we must demonstrate the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice response to rape where it is effective. Equally, we must show what’s being done to improve the system when it’s not being effective.

“During Monday’s Policing Performance Board I’ll be asking the Chief Constable questions about the Dyfed-Powys matters highlighted in the HMIC report.”

If you have been a victim of rape or sexual assault you can call us on 101 or contact the sexual assault referral unit on 01267 235 464 or visit www.newpathways.org.uk. To find out more about rape and sexual assault visit www.dyfed-powys.police.uk and click on advice and support/look after yourself.

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Pembroke Dock: Lorry driver fined for driving whilst disqualified

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A LORRY driver has been fined after getting behind the wheel only three months after being disqualified from driving.

Gary Phillip Blackman, from County Meath, was transporting food worth 75,000 Euro in a HGV when he arrived at Pembroke Dock Port.The 56-year-old was stopped by Dyfed-Powys Police officers in Kilgetty on Wednesday, May 29.

The roads policing unit was carrying out checks as part of Covid-19 legislation operations when they received information that the driver had made his way into Wales.Checks showed the driver was listed as Blackman, who had been disqualified for six months in February.His identity was confirmed by a mobile fingerprint device, and he said he had been informed he was disqualified but disputed it as he had not received a postal notification of the court result.

Blackman was arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified and with no insurance, and was charged later that day. He appeared at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, May 28, where he was issued with a fine and costs totalling £239.

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Local MP’s concern at re-opening of Mc Donald’s Drive Thrus

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A LOCAL MP has expressed his concern regarding the planned re-opening of the Mc Donald’s Drive Thru in Haverfordwest.

Stephen Crabb MP said that it is an issue which is certain to ‘divide public opinion’.

Posting on his Facebook page, the Preseli Pembrokeshire MP said: “I am a big fan of McDonald’s but I have some concerns which I have discussed with their regional management. Firstly, there is not a lot of room for cars there so I would be concerned if a congestion problem is created in the car park and at the junction with the Merlin’s Bridge roundabout. I also raised the issue of littering which is something I know they have worked hard to reduce in the past.

They have assured me they will be doing at least 3 daily litter picks around the site and picking up all litter – not just their own wrappers which have been chucked away.

I was pleased to hear they have a clear plan for protecting staff and will be sticking to all Welsh Government guidelines. I think they will need to keep things under review but, if they can re-open safely and with the support of staff and customers, I think that’s a positive thing.”

McDonald’s will reopen all of its 1,000 restaurants in the UK and Ireland for drive-through or delivery by 4 June, as it returns to trading after the coronavirus shutdown.

The fast food chain reopened 33 of its drive-throughs in south-east England last week.

McDonald’s said all remaining branches would reopen between Tuesday and Thursday next week. It will announce which Golden Arches branch is reopening only on the morning that service is resuming in order to manage demand.

The burger chain is trying to avoid a repeat of its experience in France and Switzerland, where advance notice of drive-through reopenings led to queues of up to seven hours in some locations.

The company said it was working with local authorities and police in the run-up to the reopenings in the UK and Ireland after almost two months’ closure.

McDonald’s, along with its competitors Burger King, KFC and Nando’s, have been trialling phased reopenings of their restaurants, with increased safety measures.

Staff at McDonald’s are protected from customers by perspex screens installed at the drive-through windows, and from their colleagues inside the restaurant’s kitchens. The company has introduced physical distancing inside the restaurants, including floor markings in each branch.

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Amphetamine worth £22,500 found in car at Pembroke Dock

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Two men who claimed to have driven from Cardiff to Pembroke Dock for a cleaning job were found to have amphetamine worth around £22,500 in their car.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers stopped the men while patrolling the arterial routes around the town as part of Covid-19 operations on Tuesday, May 26.

When asked by police if their journey was essential, the pair said they were on their way to carry out some cleaning work. When prompted for more information, they were unable to provide further details, raising officers’ suspicions about their motive for travelling more than 100 miles.

The Citoen C2 was searched, with 7g of amphetamine and 15g of cannabis found in the front. Further searches uncovered a block of amphetamine weighing over 2kg. The street value is estimated to be around £22,500.

The men – aged 22 and 37 – were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply. The 37-year-old driver was also arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drugs.

Both have been released under investigation pending further enquiries by CID officers.

Pembrokeshire Superintendent Ross Evans said: “This is an excellent example of proactive policing being carried out in the division, with people outside the area being challenged over unnecessary travel.

“This seizure has prevented a large amount of the class B drug amphetamine from entering the supply chain in Pembrokeshire.

“Drug dealers are taking a gamble with trying to bring large amounts of illegal substances into the area, and we have seen numerous arrests for possession with intent to supply in recent weeks.”

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